It is a terrible tragedy that Amy Winehouse is dead. Not because she was a particularly unique talent (although she was), and not because she came to an unusually tragic end (although she did). It’s because it is the needless loss of a life, and that is always a terrible tragedy.
The 27 years old British singer was found dead in bed at her London home. She recorded two great records and won five Grammy Awards. She had a voice so insanely complex and soulful and rich you almost couldn’t reconcile that it belonged with the tiny, English, white girl in the pictures and music videos. She wrote lyrics full of witty, confessional, at times shockingly honest stories about love and sex and drugs.
Tributes have been flowing in ever since news of the loss was confirmed.
Amy Winehouse’s friend M.I.A. has made public a previously unreleased demo called “27” which she dedicated to Winehouse and other friends who had died at 27 years of age. Lyric excerpt: said your all mouth and no brains / all rock stars go to heaven / you said you’ll be dead at 27 / when we drunk in a English tavern / the owner poured you the Bourbon.
Big Boi has also unveiled a tribute in the form of a previously unreleased, heavily stripped back remix of Winehouse’s great single “Tears Dry On Their Own”.
Amy Winehouse – “Tears Dry on their Own” (Organized Noize Dungeon Family Remix) by Big Boi
There shouldn’t be some kind of scale on which we measure how tragic or worthy of mourning the death of one person is compared with another. No one person’s death is more or less worthy of tribute than another’s.
During her short life Amy Winehouse made epic mistakes and couldn’t get her shit together despite seemingly having all the resources in the world to try. And we watched, and were entertained by the trainwreck, and mocked her sometimes. But ultimately we all wanted to see her overcome her problems and see her succeed again. Instead she died a junkies death alone in her bed.
Hopefully when the storm subsides we can remember Amy Winehouse not for her tragic life and death, but through her music instead.
Main Image by: Matt Cardy via Getty